Professor of Tourism
School of Hospitality and Tourism
It is a depressing irony that eco-tourism is booming but our appreciation of nature could play a role in destroying the very environments we profess to love.
Tourism Professor Michael Lück examines how this state of affairs has come to be and looks at ways in which we might improve the situation in his work specialising in coastal and marine tourism.
An early interest in environmental sustainability led him into the area of wildlife tourism, specialising in coastal/marine environments and in particular, wildlife encounters such as whale watching, swimming with dolphins and visits to albatross colonies.
Research on the makeup and interests of the tourist groups can help operators provide more meaningful and educational information to customers. Professor Lück says recent and ongoing research has revealed that tourists want to be educated and often wonder how they can help combat environmental issues such as climate change.
Looking at it from a completely different angle, Professor Lück also specialises on the impact of the cruise ship industry, not only from an environmental point of view but also from social, cultural and economic perspectives.
Professor Lück has several PhD students working in swimming with animals programmes (humpback whales, sharks and seals), dolphin tourism and community-based tourism. Along with Professor Mark Orams, he is the founding co-chair of the International Coastal Marine Tourism Society, which meets every two years. He says in future he would like to look at aviation and in particular, the effect of loyalty programmes.